Pub 268. Coco Bamboo, 9th June 2014.

Is it a pub? Or isn't it? What is a pub? When does a pub become a bar and is a bar the same as a pub?! If it serves the same purpose and provides the same service as a pub is it basically a pub? What if you changed the name to The Old King's Head, put Tetley's on and stuck a dartboard in - then does a bar become a pub? These are questions I've pondered over a lot... and there's no real easy answer. What is a pub is a grey area. A "proper pub" or "old man's pub" or "back street boozer" are all pretty obvious and usually what people mean, but it's not that easy. According to me.

In Camden Town there's many bars where you can go and get a drink and for whom providing drink is their main business, ie. not food, not music, not a hotel, not a leisure centre, etc. etc., just a like a pub does. But most of them are still clearly not anything like pubs, however you define it. I'm thinking of places like Solo, Bar Gansa, Made in Brasil, Bar Vinyl, Proud (which today had run out of beer - the ultimate pub sin!), Spiritual (complete with moody look from the barmaid inside) and the Tunnel Bar, all of which have taken my dollar in the past incidentally - and Silk Bar which hasn't - but although worth a mention as "establishments to have a drink" they cannot really feature in the list of Camden pubs. I'm sure there's others too. And indeed some may argue that some of the places in this compendium are not pubs, but it's my game and my rules. Anyways...

But one or two just manage to sneak into the very outskirts of the grey area that is what-makes-a-pub, and one is Coco Bamboo. Strictly for tourists, two choices of lager and endless mojitos and a chap playing flamenco style guitar. Not my cup of tea, but all rather pleasant a hot summer's day.

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